The Iowa Department of Transportation said the Interstate 74 Bridge project is behind schedule, but will be built.
In a statement from an Iowa DOT spokesperson, reference was made to an article suggesting that the I-74 Bridge is not "constructable." The spokesperson explained that "constructable" doesn't point to whether the bridge is able to be built or if it is safe enough, but that it means the contractor can't complete the duties outlined in the contract they're working under.
"That's very different than saying the bridge can't be properly built," read the statement. "We remain confident the bridge can and will be built properly and in a safe manner."
“No one associated with the project questions whether the bridge can be properly built, the only questions center around the time and money needed for the arch erection, and those are issues we will resolve under the contract, balancing carefully our obligation to be fair to the contractor and good stewards of public funds,” said Mark Lowe, Iowa DOT Director. “We have a very sound design, by a reputable firm, to guide the construction of a bridge that will serve us safely and well for many years to come, once completed.”
In the statement, they said it's not unusual for Iowa DOT to work with contractors along the way to clarify project requirements, and make adjustments to deadlines or finances.
Iowa DOT has been working with contractor Lunda to address requests for information about the design, deadline adjustment, and compensation.
Iowa DOT said the contracts allow the state to hold contractors accountable when delays happen due to individual company's progress. However, it's too early to tell if there will be financial consequences associated with the delays.